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Meet the LEADS Scholarship Recipients


The National Institute of Justice’s Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Program is designed to increase the research capabilities of law enforcement officers and agencies. LEADS scholars are selected in three categories: law enforcement officers, academics, and civilians. 


Ja’Nae McGee

Portrait of Ja’Nae McGee, 2022 LEADS Scholar
Lieutenant, Arlington Police Department; 2022 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Arlington Police Department

Lieutenant Ja’Nae McGee has over a decade of experience with the Arlington Police Department. She is currently assigned to the South Patrol district and is responsible for directing and administering the management functions of a patrol division. Functions include providing leadership in directing subordinates, administering programs, and developing goals for assigned departments. Some of her auxiliary roles include serving on the SWAT team as an Executive Officer and a Negotiator. She earned a B.A. from McNeese State University and M.A. in Criminology from Lamar University. Her research interest include implementation and institutionalization of 21st Century policing principles, evidence based policing strategies, and addressing disparities related to recruitment, hiring, and promotion of female police officers within organizations.

McGee currently serves as an executive member on the Education and Awareness within Technology board for the Arlington Police Department. She organized a Women's Leadership Symposium as the creator and chair, implemented a Parental Guidance Required (PGR) program in The Parks Mall, introduced and developed the organization's first Women's Mentoring program to effectively increase female officer representation at all ranks. She also created and led a comprehensive problem-oriented policing project to address crime and disorder at Lynn Hale Elementary School (Bridge Kids). As a result of the problem-oriented policing project, Bridge Kids won the Texas municipal police award in 2019 and The State of Texas achievement award, for professional development which honored law enforcement officers committed to exceeding the normal expectations of job performance through acts of professional achievement in public service

Jon Utz

Portrait of Jon Utz, 2022 LEADS Scholar
Sergeant, Chicago Police Department; 2022 NIJ Leads Law Enforcement
Chicago Police Department

Sergeant Jon Utz is a 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department spending the last 7 years as a Sergeant.  He is currently assigned to the Bureau of Patrol - 019th District - as the Strategic Decision Support Center (SDSC) Coordinator. The SDSC is the center for collection, analysis, and dissemination of real-time information. Sergeant Utz oversees the coordination efforts, information sharing, and all operational responsibilities. He has leveraged his analytic skills to introduce operational efficiencies and improve performances. Sergeant Utz also conducts internal complaint investigations for all civilians and sworn police officers assigned to the district.  

Prior to his current assignment, Sergeant Utz served as a patrol supervisor and then in the Office of the Superintendent where he was a liaison to the Department of Justice during their now completed civil pattern or practice investigation. Prior to his supervisory positions, Sergeant Utz held numerous vital roles as an Officer within the Department.  Sergeant Utz earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Illinois State University and a Master of Business Administration from Saint Xavier University. Shortly after obtaining his MBA, he passed the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Certified Fraud Examination. His research interests include analyzing the effectiveness of intelligence rooms, improving the use and automation of data analysis, and strengthening early intervention systems to increase Officer support for health and wellness.   

Thomas J Bilach

Portrait of Thomas Bilach, 2022 LEADS Scholar
Sergeant, NYPD, 2022 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
New York City Police Department

Sergeant Bilach has served the City of New York since 2007. He has a dedicated history of collaborative research with academics and practitioners in the law enforcement and public health sector. His police service includes a stint in the Office of Management Analysis and Planning as an analyst and supervisor, with experience in strategic and executive correspondence, operations research, policy planning, staffing, and crime reporting. His recent work focuses on minimizing risk through the acquisition and assessment of body-worn camera data.

Sergeant Bilach holds master’s degrees in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany, and in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University. His peer-reviewed, scholarly contributions can be found in Justice Quarterly and the Journal of Experimental Criminology. His latest evaluative research focused on the introduction of foot patrol surges in New York City and their effect on official crime reporting.

Sergeant Bilach’s research interests center around risk mitigation, use-of-force, and program evaluation. He also takes a specialized interest in applying the latest econometric methods to the evaluation of police interventions.

He looks forward to further collaboration through the LEADS program and integrating research and practice to help improve the policing profession.

Jimmy Baldea

Portrait of Jimmy Baldea, 2022 Leads Scholar
Law Enforcement Officer; 2022 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Manchester Police Department

Jimmy Baldea developed the Los Angeles Police daily vital sign monitoring platform in 2016. He utilizes bio-feedback devices and telemedicine to aggregate baseline, injury, and wellness data on law enforcement officers. He has dedicated over 5,000 hours to shadow diverse units in the LAPD (Air Support, Motors, Gangs, Administrative, SWAT, vehicular patrol, and others), in their daily work environments, in order to gain insights on prevention and rehabilitation strategies for workplace injuries and health ailments. He regularly interacts with officers to conduct interviews and focus groups on matters concerning their physical and mental health. From this data, he pioneered a first-of-its-kind longitudinal research study based on the Framingham Study. His analyses enabled him to formulate algorithms for the initial design and ongoing refinement of his Best Practices in Police Wellness. His first 250 research participants have lost and kept off 3,000 pounds, and have maintained their improvements for the past 6 years. His work inspires first responders nationwide to improve their overall states of health. He conceived the LAPD Top 10 List of Medical Conditions. His database offers pre-disaster health data on LAPD officers, in the event of a Homeland Emergency. He refers to his biostatistics during his ongoing advocacy to petition the medical community to create medical health codes and protocols that are specific to the needs of first responders and essential workers. He is thankful to his clinical team, his Board, his National Advisory Council, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the DOJ, the IACP, and the many participating police officers who have entrusted him with the opportunity to serve and learn from them. 

Rachel Rados

Portrait of Rachel Rados, 2022 LEADS Scholar
Lieutenant, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office; 2022 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office

Rachel Rados began her law enforcement career in 2007 with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, where she is currently a Lieutenant within the Professional Development Division.  She also serves as an Adjunct Professor for Loyola University New Orleans.  Rachel holds a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Chico, and a Master’s degree from the University of Central Florida.  She completed her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Central Florida in 2017 with a dissertation on the utilization of GPS in Domestic Violence cases. She currently leads the newly created Career Development Section, which focuses on Leadership Development, Civilian Training, and Field Training for Law Enforcement and Corrections.   Before this position, she created the Seminole Collaborative Opioid Response Effort Team (SCORE) and authored white papers that leaders utilized within the State of Florida.  This team focused on non-fatal and fatal responses to all opioid-related overdoses. She has held previous positions in Patrol, Investigations-Major Crimes, Judicial Security, and School Safety & Security. Much of her research has focused on identifying the agency's needs, researching successful programs (within or outside of law enforcement venues), and collaborating with local stakeholders. She looks forward to collaborating with members of the LEADS team and continuing to research new and innovative techniques to serve the law enforcement community.

Anthony Gibson

Portrait of Anthony Gibson, 2022 LEADS Scholar
Sergeant, Charleston Police Department; 2022 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Charleston Police Department

Sergeant Anthony Gibson started at the Charleston Police Department as an intern in 2013 and now serves as the Recruitment, Selection & Retention Supervisor. In this role, he manages the department's recruitment initiatives, the unit's related research efforts, the implementation of various talent acquisition strategies, and has renewed the agency’s commitment to officer retention through critical research and analysis. Additionally, he oversees the department's commitment to the 30x30 Initiative, numerous mentorship and internship programs, as well as, the selection and hiring processes.

Sergeant Gibson believes in blending the strengths of research and data with the dynamic nature of law enforcement to create precise solutions to modern day policing challenges. His research interests include resource allocation, officer motivations, selection criteria, and officer retention strategies. Currently, Sergeant Gibson is managing a research-practitioner partnership to explore predictive models capable of identifying and assisting officers at-risk of prematurely leaving law enforcement through the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing’s inaugural Applied Criminology and Data Management cohort.  

Sgt. Gibson has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master's of Public Administration.

Dalton Majors

Portrait of Dalton Majors, 2022 LEADS Scholar
Captain, Burlington Police Department; 2022 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Burlington Police Department

Dalton Majors has been with the Burlington Police Department for over 20 years and is currently assigned as the Captain of the Patrol Division. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from Western Carolina University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Pfeiffer University. Throughout his tenure, he has worked in criminal investigations, narcotics, community outreach/engagement, SWAT, school resource officer program, and canine. Dalton serves as a law enforcement instructor, adjunct professor at a local community college, and assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

In 2018-19 Dalton conducted research with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy that led his agency to conduct training, change policies and procedures, and obtain a grant to fund a juvenile diversion program for the City of Burlington. Recently, he has worked with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Exercise Science to conduct research and study job-related workload within law enforcement agencies and its relationship to injury risk and performance. He hopes to blend this research into other areas such as how the effects of traumatic events, staffing levels, workload, and public opinion affect officer performance, decision making, and mental and physical health.

Jason North

Portrait of Jason North, 2022 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Chief of Staff, Alexandria Police Department; 2022NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Alexandria Police Department

Jason North is a Lieutenant with the Alexandria (VA) Police Department.  He has 18 years of law enforcement experience serving in numerous operational, administrative, and tactical capacities.  Lieutenant North currently serves as the Chief of Staff, where he works to research, develop, and operationalize an array of law enforcement programs and services. Lieutenant North is an energetic leader who employs evidence-based practices to advance the effectiveness and professionalism of law enforcement.        

Lieutenant North holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland; a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from George Mason University; a Graduate Certificate in Certified Public Management (CPM) from George Washington University; and a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from George Mason University.  Lieutenant North is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.   

Lieutenant North remains involved with an array of community outreach efforts.  Many of his efforts are directed to benefit youth, with a special focus on advancing opportunities for children with disabilities.  For his efforts, Lieutenant North was awarded the 2021 John Duty Collins III Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities. 

Blake Christenson

Portrait of Blake Christenson
Lead Data Analyst; 2022 NIJ LEADS Civilian
Denver (CO) Department of Public Safety

Blake leads the Denver Department of Public Safety’s data team in the Transformation and Policy Division. With a background in geography, criminology, and crime analysis, he has strived to introduce and support theory-informed, evidence-based, and data-driven practices in law enforcement and public safety. He also supports furthering the roles and responsibilities of civilian data professionals within law enforcement and public safety. His work has been critical in launching and growing multiple programs, including: the Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) Program - which sends paramedics and clinicians to calls for service traditional dispatch to police officers; Place Network Investigations (PNI) – a strategy to address persistently gun violence hotspots through an all-of-city approach; and more broadly developing a comprehensive strategy to address public health harm hot spots. His work continues to further the Denver Department of Public Safety as a learning organization.

Blake holds master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Southern Illinois University. His work has been recognized through Esri’s Special Achievements in GIS Award (2016), the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing’s Herman Goldstein Award (2017), and International Association of Crime Analysts’ Innovations in Crime Analysis Award (2018). He looks forward to new opportunities to collaborate through the LEADS Scholar program.

Staci Yutzie

Stacy Yutzie, Ed.D
Manager, Center for Policing Excellence; 2022 NIJ LEADS Civilian
Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training

Staci Yutzie is the Center for Policing Excellence (CPE) Manager at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). The CPE was established by the Oregon legislature in 2013 to make policing more effective and efficient by bringing research to practitioners through training and partnerships.

Staci has worked as a civilian in public safety for over twenty years. She currently oversees a number of state programs, including research; academy programming and instructor development; behavioral health training; leadership and research literacy training; equity training; and the technical assistance branch of the Oregon’s Statistical Transparency of Policing (STOP) program.

Staci’s work on academy training earned DPSST the 2021 International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Law Enforcement Research award. She co-authored an effectiveness evaluation of the Oregon academy that was published in 2021. Staci has presented on training at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and at the National Symposium on Police Academies and Training.

Her research interests are in police training, training effectiveness, and implementing evidence-based policing practices. Staci holds a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement, a master’s degree in Justice Management, and a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Change and Leadership.

Christopher Bagby

Christopher Bagby
Lieutenant (Acting); 2022 NIJ Leads Law Enforcement Officer
Bakersfield Police Department

Christopher Bagby is an acting Lieutenant for the Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) in Bakersfield, California. Assigned as a supervisor in the BPD’s Quality Assurance Unit, he manages the organization’s accountability and oversight programs, policy review, and organizational improvement projects. He holds collateral duties as the Covid-19 Resource Team Leader/Infection Control Officer, Terrorism Liaison Team Leader, department instructor, a member of the Department’s Use of Force Committee and its Civil Litigation Team. He has been with the BPD since June of 2002.

He joined the BPD and served in a variety of assignments including Patrol, Motors, Accident Reconstruction, Property Crimes Detectives, Robbery/Homicide Detectives, Headquarters, Investigations, and Patrol Sergeant. He is a graduate of National University with a B.S. in Public Administration and an M.A. in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Chris’ true joys are his wife of 18 years, Kim and their four children ages 9-17. Chris is passionate about travel, sports and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and relaxes through reading and writing.

Harvey Sham

Harvey Sham
Sergeant, New York City Police Department; 2022 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
New York City Police Department

Sergeant Harvey Sham currently works in the Office of Management Analysis and Planning (OMAP) of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). OMAP’s core function is to propose policies, strategies, programs, organizational structures, and staffing analyses to maintain maximum effectiveness of the agency. Sergeant Sham is assigned to various projects within the unit, including the Department-wide staffing analysis and the agency’s efforts towards accreditation. Prior to working in OMAP, he played an integral role in establishing the Gun Violence Strategies Partnership (GVSP), which has garnered national attention. The GVSP brings every aspect of law enforcement and prosecution to bear on the those who commit serious gun violence in New York City, and leverages timely evidentiary data to aid investigators in open cases and provide leads to proactively combat firearms trafficking. He has also worked in a number of enforcement and specialty commands, including as a detective in the Special Victims Division and an instructor in the Counterterrorism Division.

Sergeant Sham holds a Master of Criminal Justice in Investigative Techniques with an Advanced Certificate in Terrorism Studies from the City University of New York – John Jay College. His hope is to combine data analytics and policy research to properly inform agency executives in vital decision-making processes at all levels.

Ryan Perlongo

Ryan Perlongo
Regional Advisor, Master Instructo, Law Enforcement Strategic Guidance Unit; 2022 NIJ LEADS Civilian
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services

Ryan Perlongo is the Regional Advisor for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Law Enforcement Strategic Guidance Unit (SGU). This unit provides hands-on strategic counsel to New York State law enforcement agencies focusing on evidence-based policing practices, community trust building, and implementing reform and reinvention collaboratives. Ryan's role includes the design of portfolio-specific collaborative learning opportunities tailored to local culture, legislation, and priorities, fostering peer learning partnerships across agencies, and building the technical capacity of local stakeholders to implement, measure, and sustain strategies.

In addition to his work with the SGU, Ryan continues to serve as Master Instructor for the DCJS Principled Policing Series. This initiative has provided Train-the-Trainer certification in Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias to over 600 instructors across the state. Ryan's 15-year career in sworn service was rooted in developing and administering comprehensive officer training programs at the City and State Universities of New York as Training Coordinator and Assistant Chief of Police.

Ryan holds a Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego and was recently accepted into the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education (LLAED) doctoral program at Penn State University.


Natasha Haunsperger

Portrait of Natasha Haunsperger, 2021 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Police Officer, 2021 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Portland Police Bureau

Haunsperger worked with the United Nations International Police Task Force (IPTF) charged with reintegrating war zones back into Croatia proper.  Natasha joined the Portland Police Bureau in 2006, shortly after she had emigrated to Oregon from Croatia.  Her previous experiences with war refugees and conflict resolution ultimately led her to proactively focus and engage with the large multicultural/ethnic communities in the Portland area. After several years working in the Portland Police Criminal Intelligence Unit, Officer Haunsperger was assigned to the Chief’s Office to establish the Office of Community Engagement,  focusing on community mapping and grass-roots justice advocacy. In her current assignment as a community engagement strategist.  Officer Haunsperger is currently working on developing holistic and innovative platforms for onboarding immigrants, refugees, communities of color, and other vulnerable and historically marginalized communities in the process of justice reforms.  

Natasha earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Russian Literature from Portland State University. She recently completed her Masters of Arts in Security Studies from the Homeland Security and Defense (CHDS) Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. Officer Haunsperger also serves as a Commissioner on the Oregon Governor’s Commission for Women. In addition, she engages as an advocate with groups focused on issues of gender, socio-economic justice, and civil and human rights for justice-impacted women, with a particular focus on uplifting the voices of women in the areas of domestic and international security, conflict resolution, and peace-building processes. 

Her areas of research and policy development are focused on foreign-born labor trafficking, threat assessment,  intelligence data collection; labor trafficking as an unconventional national security threat; and public trust-building as a critical infrastructure concept. 

Officer Haunsperger is committed to further academic growth and exchanging innovative ideas and visions critical to addressing emerging security-related threats.  

Henry Wang

Portrait of Henry Wang, 2021 NIJ LEADS Civilian
Director, Quality Assurance Division; 2021 NIJ LEADS Civilian
New York City Police Department

Henry Wang is the Director of the Quality Assurance Division within the Risk Management Bureau (RMB) of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). He leads a unit that focuses on research and analytic initiatives to minimize risk to the NYPD.  In addition, Henry has created business intelligence tools which identify, analyze, and monitor risks to the department.  Prior to working with RMB, he was the lead evaluator for the “Co-Response Teams” a joint initiative between the NYPD and New York City Department of Health which paired police officers trained in crisis intervention with social workers to serve community members presenting with mental health or substance use challenges who are at an elevated risk of harm to themselves or others. Henry was instrumental to the development of the data collection instruments and leveraged the data to create predictive models to identify the appropriate services.

Henry holds a Master of Public Health in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the City University of New York - Hunter College.  He is specifically interested in identifying new methods for risk mitigation, early intervention, and ensuring constitutional policing.  He looks forward to working with fellow LEADS scholars to learn how they are utilizing research to inform police policy and practice.

Nick Petitti

Portrait of Nick Petitti, 2021 NIJ LEADS Civilian
Director of Business Intelligence; 2021 NIJ LEADS Civilian

Mr. Petitti is the Director of Business Intelligence for the Rochester (NY) Police Department. He created and currently manages the department’s Office of Business Intelligence (OBI), a group of diverse data analysts responsible for strategic planning and product development, data analysis, business process improvements, data transparency, and major city projects. The OBI was established to better leverage police data in support of evidence-based decision making. Mr. Petitti oversees the department’s information systems applications, Open Data Portal, records and digital evidence management, and performance reporting. Currently, he is focused on the development of executive-level reporting and analytical capacity, technology integration, and strategic research and evaluation.

From 2009-2013, he ran the Crime Analysis Unit of the Rochester Police Department and was the managing analyst for the Monroe Crime Analysis Center in Monroe County, NY. Mr. Petitti has worked as an analyst since 2004, primarily focusing on issues associated with data governance and operational effectiveness. Mr. Petitti holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice.

Laure Brimbal, Ph.D.

Portrait of Laure Brimbal, 2021 NIJ LEADS Academic
Assistant Professor; 2021 NIJ LEADS Academic
Texas State University

Dr. Laure Brimbal is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Texas State University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology and Law from the Graduate Center, CUNY. Prior to joining the Texas State faculty she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Iowa State University. Dr. Brimbal’s research interests lie at the intersection of psychology and the criminal justice system, specifically examining communication and decision making in law enforcement. Much of her research has focused on interviewing and topics such as rapport building, lie detection, the use of evidence, and how to overcome resistance. Dr. Brimbal has also conducted several training evaluation studies in partnership with local and federal law enforcement agencies. She is currently developing projects to study police communication training more broadly, especially for patrol officers’ interactions with the public, de-escalation, and crisis negotiation situations. She looks forward to further collaborations through the LEADS program and integrating research and practice as a LEADS Academic.

Shawn Hill

Portrait of Shawn Hill, 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Commander; 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Santa Barbara Police Department

Commander Shawn Hill is a 20-year veteran of the Santa Barbara Police Department. He is currently assigned as a Watch Commander in the Field Operations Bureau, and as the assistant SWAT commander. Some of his previous roles include serving in the Chief's Office, the detective bureau, training and recruitment and professional standards. He earned a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University, an M.A. in criminal justice from Arizona State University and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Department of Communication. His research interests include police culture, intergroup processes and their (us versus them) influence on police-public relationships, communication accommodation, intergroup interventions, and overcoming implementation barriers to evidence-based approaches in policing.

Commander Hill currently serves on the community policing committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is a National Policing Institute Executive Fellow and a member of the Training, Education, and Standards (TES) Committee for the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE). He most recently co-authored VOICES: a theory driven intervention for improving relationships between police and the public, and co-edited the interdisciplinary, international Rowman & Littlefield Handbook of Policing, Communication, and Society.

Stephen K. Talpins, JD

Portrait of Stephen K. Talpins, 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Chief Assistant State Attorney; 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office

Stephen K. Talpins is a Chief Assistant State Attorney at the Miami-Dade County (Florida) State Attorney’s Office. He reports directly to the State Attorney and participates on the executive and other key teams. He is responsible for supervising the Felony Divisions in Unit IV, Gang Prosecutions Unit, Treatment Courts Unit, Community Outreach Division, and Media Team. He also serves as the office lead on Smart Justice programming.

Mr. Talpins is a nationally recognized author, advocate, and speaker on Smart Justice and other criminal justice related issues. He has worked collaboratively and diplomatically with public, private, and non-profit stakeholders, published dozens of articles, given well over 150 presentations, served on multiple expert panels, and participated on the Boards of three non-profit associations. His efforts have been recognized by numerous organizations and agencies, including Citizens Against Drunk Impaired Drivers, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the National Commission Against Drunk Driving. During the past decade, The Century Council identified Mr. Talpins as “One of the 20 People to Watch,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave him a Public Safety Award, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (the office of the United States Drug Czar) named him an Advocate for Action, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police recognized him as an Ambassador of the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program. Most recently, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) selected him as a member of the 2021 Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) program cohort.

Matt Tye

Portrait of Matt Tye, 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Captain; 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Madison Police Department

Captain Matt Tye has been with the Madison Police Department for over 21 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Northwestern University and a Law Degree from the University of Wisconsin. He is currently the Captain of Community Outreach overseeing the department’s Mental Health Unit, the Addiction Resource Team, as well as all department outreach engagements and restorative justice initiatives. He also works with the Madison Metropolitan School District overseeing the STOP School Violence grant and the establishment and training of threat assessment and critical response teams within the school district.  Finally, Captain Tye is the Deputy Commander of the Special Events Team responsible for crowd management within the City of Madison. Captain Tye is interested in improving the use of data analysis and evidenced based practices in the areas of criminal diversion and community engagement. 

Prior to his current assignment, Captain Tye served as a Patrol Lieutenant, a Detective Lieutenant, Detective and Police Officer. In these roles, he supervised a number of units to include the Special Victims Unit and the SWAT Crisis Negotiation Team. As a detective, he was involved in focused deterrence efforts to engage people returning from prison. 

James Barrett, Ph.D.

Portrait of Dr. Barrett, 2021 NIJ LEADS Academic
Director, Clinical Support Unit; 2021 NIJ LEADS Civilian
Cambridge Police Department

Dr. Barrett is the Director of the Clinical Support Unit at the Cambridge Police Department and an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. He is an Associate Clinical Researcher at the Health Equity Research Lab at the Cambridge Health Alliance where he received the Academic Council Award for Excellence. Dr. Barrett is the author and developer of the Fight Navigator curriculum under the Eleanor and Miles Shore Fellowship from the Harvard Medical School to address retaliatory violence in youth.  He is a member of the American Psychological Association, Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) and the FBI’s Mass Bay Threat Assessment Team. 

Dr. Barrett has presented at numerous national conferences on juvenile justice and diversion, gang violence, juvenile safety assessment, preventing retaliatory violence, and police-mental health partnerships.  He has contributed to national meetings convened by SAMHSA, the MacArthur Foundation and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  He is a contributor to Psychology, Public Policy and the Law, Psychological Services, Adolescent Psychiatry, Journal of Applied Juvenile Justice Services, Translational Issues in Psychological Science, National Youth At-Risk Journal and The Handbook of Human Development for Health Professionals.

David Cefalu

Portrait of  David Cefalu, 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Officer; 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Wauwatosa Police Department

David Cefalu began his law enforcement career with the Wauwatosa Police Department in 2006. He currently serves in the Personnel and Training Division where he is tasked with analyzing, evaluating, and assessing the recruitment and selection of police officers. He is a 14-year veteran of the department’s Special Response Team and is a Defense and Arrest Tactics and Professional Communications instructor. He has served as an officer in the Patrol Division and also the Special Operations Group where he investigated violent crimes and drug trafficking.

David is also a Major in the Wisconsin Air National Guard with 20 years of service ranging from Security Forces to Command and Control. He is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater pursuing a Doctorate of Business Administration in Management. David holds a Masters of Business Administration in Public Administration from Concordia University-Wisconsin and a Bachelors of Criminal Justice from Troy University. His research interests include personnel recruitment, selection, and retention, ethics, mental health, and reintegration of military veterans.

Bill Walsh

Portrait of Bill Walsh, 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Lieutenant; 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Voorhees Police Department

Lt. Bill Walsh entered public service at the age of 16 as a dispatcher prior to entering the police academy at age 20. Bill holds a master’s degree in administrative science and several graduate certificates, including one in police leadership. His research and program designs were utilized to implement several initiatives including a health and wellness program with automatic wellness visits with a police psychologist, family components, and the formation of a multi-agency peer support team, which he leads. He has collaborated with several universities to develop, evaluate, and enhance initiatives and trainings. In 2019, Bill was recognized by the IACP as a 40 Under 40 awardee for his work in officer health and wellness and community engagement. He has presented at numerous conferences on wellness topics, early intervention systems, field training, and community police academies. Bill has been published on early intervention systems and both community and law enforcement mental health programming. Bill is a subject matter expert for the National Police Foundation, the IACP, and the Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center. Bill serves on the National Consortium on Preventing Law Enforcement Officer Suicides. He is currently working towards a second master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.

David T. Snively

Portrait of David T. Snively, 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Researcher; 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Georgia State University

David T. Snively has worked in public safety for 15-years, serving most recently as the Interim Chief of Police in Morrow, Georgia. His tenure includes assignments at several ranks in Brookhaven and Smyrna in Georgia, including functional and supervisory roles in: 911, Uniform Patrol, Traffic and DUI Enforcement, Criminal Investigations, Recruiting, Accreditation, Public Information, and Training.

Mr. Snively is a Ph.D. candidate at Georgia State University, where his research centers on officer- and agency-level effects of police accreditation processes, training programs, and education requirements. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from the University of West Georgia and a Master of Public Administration from Kennesaw State University, where he was named the 2016 Outstanding Master’s Scholar of the Year.

Mr. Snively is a Doctoral Fellow of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. He is also a Georgia POST certified Master Instructor, and holds specialty instructor certifications in Use of Force, Firearms, TASER, and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing.

James Knoblach

Portrait of James Knoblach, 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Lieutenant; 2021 NIJ LEADS Scholar
Suffolk County Police Department

Lieutenant James Knoblach has served with the Suffolk County Police Department since 2010 and is currently assigned to the Second Precinct Crime Section as the Commanding Officer. In this role, he oversees three investigative units, an Anti-Crime/Gang unit and two Community Support unit teams. In addition to conducting the vast array of investigations, a focus area of this Section is addressing quality of life concerns for the community and Precinct. His previous assignment was in the Office of the Police Commissioner, Strategic Initiatives Bureau. In this prior role, he managed Department-wide initiatives by evaluating policies, programs, and resources to enhance police services provided to the County. Previously, he was also the Commanding officer and founder of the newly formed Behavioral Health Section. His broad law enforcement experiences include tenure in the Office of the Chief of Patrol, as a patrol supervisor, and as a police officer having served both in patrol and in several specialty commands. He has a proven record in utilizing data systems to enhance operational effectiveness. Lieutenant Knoblach has incubated data-focused initiatives in a variety of law enforcement areas. He holds a B.B.A. with a concentration in Finance and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Information Systems Security, both from James Madison University. He is looking forward to working with fellow LEADS scholars to research and improve the use of police data to enhance policing strategies.

Date Created: April 3, 2020